May 10th, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill to promote and legalize medical marijuana. After years of fighting for this bill, it finally passed, meaning that Ohio might become the 26th state to have legalized medical marijuana. However, as great as this may sound, this legislation might also have some strings attached.
During hearings, members of the house heard stories of children who suffer from 300 seizures a day and the help that cannabis can have on people that suffer from PTSD.
The House Bill would legalize medicinal marijuana that treats a wide array of illnesses including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, HIV, and AIDS. The herbal treatment would be given to patients that have a particular prescription from a licensed doctor and only allows vaporizer prescriptions.
These vaporizer prescriptions would include everything, but smoking cannabis. Doctors can prescribe cannabis oil, tinctures, plant material, edibles or patch, which somewhat limits the diseases and disorders that require smoked marijuana.
The bill also has some flaws in it that deter a “real” legalization.
The legislation gives employers the right to terminate an employee for using medical marijuana. This small detail of the bill allows for prejudice against people who are suffering from REAL and painful illnesses.
It also denies worker’s compensation to employees if they test positive for cannabis and are fired for their positive test results. The main problem with this idea is that Ohio can’t have it’s cake and eat it too, either cannabis is illegal or it’s not.
This bill now moves on to the Senate of Ohio for future discussion and legislation. However, the Senate is expected to pass the bill again.
Representative Steve Huffman states that there shouldn’t be a difference in the bill that the Senate creates, meaning that the House bill is most likely to get passed as is. He says specifically that Ohioans will appreciate the regulations that come with the bill. He states, “They’ll find this is a good balance…for true medical marijuana.”
The system that the bill creates is one of the final regulation, and it does not support a recreational lifestyle. Even the doctors will be incredibly regulated and accountable for their actions if they do provide a patient with medical marijuana when it is not deserving.
This bill is getting some serious heat because of the strict underlying conditions, such as lack of cannabis smoke and regulation of marijuana distribution. However, the law was passed to help save the lives of children and people who suffer. Kudos to you Ohio!